• Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Mass abductions in Nigeria skyrocket in 2024, surpassing 2019, 2020 combined

Mass abductions in Nigeria skyrocket in 2024, surpassing 2019, 2020 combined

It’s just the middle of the year and Nigeria has had more mass abduction victims than it did in 2019 and 2020 combined. This was disclosed in an intelligence report published by SB Morgen Intelligence, an international security intelligence-gathering firm, recently.

According to the report, there have been 68 mass abductions in 2024, with 1,867 victims. However, of the 78 mass abduction incidents in the 24 months of 2019 and 2020, there were only 1,301 victims.

According to the report, Nigeria has seen a significant increase in mass abductions since 2019, with at least 735 incidents and over 15,398 victims. Kaduna was reported to lead with 132 incidents and 3,969 victims, followed by Zamfara and Katsina.

Also, contrary to what the Federal Government and the Nigerian Army claimed in 2019, the report identified Boko Haram factions and bandits as some of the known leading perpetrators of these mass abductions.

“The Islamic State’s West Africa Province—the dominant Boko Haram faction—continues to hold territory in both Borno and Yobe states. The other faction, Jama’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Da’wah wa’l-Jihad (JAS), now led by Shekau’s loyalists, has been significantly weakened after losing territories to the Nigerian military and ISWAP,” the report read.

Mass abductions have thrived significantly in the northwestern part of Nigeria, with a victim toll of more than 9,000 people in the last six years. This figure exceeds the number of victims reported in the other five geopolitical zones combined.

SBM attributed the spike in mass abductions, first, to the weak economy and the corresponding inflation.

It also fingered the weakness of Nigeria’s security architecture as a major reason for the prevalence of mass abductions. Most of the victims are women in these attacks.

It said: “The root causes of this kidnapping crisis are complex. First is economic hardship. High inflation and a struggling economy push individuals towards desperate measures like kidnapping. Second, Nigeria’s security architecture is weak.

“The Nigerian security apparatus suffers from internal sabotage and a lack of resources, making it difficult to combat kidnappings effectively. Third, there is the breakdown of trust. Some state officials collaborate with kidnappers, further eroding public faith in institutions.

“The persistence of the kidnap epidemic underscores the failure of the state to fulfil its primary obligation of ensuring the safety and security of its citizens. Until meaningful action is taken to address the root causes of the problem, such as economic instability and institutional corruption, kidnapping will continue to plague the country.”